By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, August 28: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has criticized the Chinese government over strict directives issued to the media regarding reporting of the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II.
IFJ, the world’s largest organization of journalists, expressed concerns over the growing number of harsh rules imposed by the Chinese government and its heavy-handed approach against the media. They also urged all media workers to exercise their duties ethically and responsibly.
The State Internet Information Office (SIIO) of Chinese Central government has given strict instructions to all online media to only publish positive reports and images while covering the military parades between August 23 and September 5, which marks the end of Second World War and the War of Resistance against Japanese invasion.
According to Ming Pao
, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, “The order demanded all reports and posted messages related to military parade must be censored before publication and ensure all are positive, no discredit, no distortion and no attack towards the military. In addition to that, no attack against the Communist Party, Country, system and leaders is allowed.”
“This year there has been a steady increase in the number of directives issued by the Chinese Government for the media. The government continues to attempt to stifle the media by controlling information. By issuing these directives, the government is violated the public’s access to information as well as freedom of speech,” said the IFJ Asia Pacific Office, expressing discontent over the development.
China’s ‘clean up policy’, which was implemented last year, targets any negative, harmful and illegal messages posted online.
The Beijing Propaganda Department on August 20, released an order to all online media similar to SIIO’s directives.
Furthermore, to curb dissemination of information, the Ministry of Information Technology on August 9 announced that the mobile phone SIM cards would be included in the authenticity registration system. Hence, people would need an ID proof to purchase a new SIM card from September.